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Sand and Gravel - Sand, gravel, and crushed stone form an industrial mineral group called "aggregates," and are found in nearly every county in Colorado.  Aggregates represent 77 percent of Colorado’s total mineral material production. Typically, sand and gravel quarries are located near to their source, such as in river valleys, and their products are not transported far from that source.  This is why several quarries are usually located throughout a region rather than in one large resource area.

Sand and gravel are industrial minerals that are used in road construction, manufacturing, decorative landscaping, and agriculture.  According to the Colorado Geological Society, 400 tons of sand, gravel, and crushed rock, are used in the construction of a typical home. 

Other uses for sand and gravel resources include: constituent in concrete, fertilizer fillers, icy highway treatments, filters, and in sand boxes and volleyball courts. 


    Sand and Gravel Quarry, Chaffee County, CO                                                    Asphalt on Highway

Sandstone - Sandstone has many applications in both industry and residential settings.  It is a widespread resource throughout Colorado, and provides an excellent domestic and export commodity. Sandstone is frequently used in industrial flooring and linings because of its resistance to corrosive chemicals and abrasive materials. Additionally, sandstone is used residentially for decorative purposes. 

In response to public demand, the Bureau of Land Management has worked to make this material easily available for public collection in Fremont and Huerfano counties.


     Sandstone Quarry, Las Animas County, CO                    Archway made from quarried sandstone blocks

Clay - The United States is the world's leading producer of clay, and with Colorado's abundant resources, the state plays a major role in clay production.  Most of Colorado's clay resources can be found in the eastern portions of Colorado. 

Clay is a major component in the production of many industrial and commercial products, such as pottery, porcelain, brick, dishware, paper production, chemical filtering, pharmaceuticals, building materials (i.e. cement), and construction.


           Clay Mine, Fremont County, CO                                                     Fireplace made from clay bricks

Cement – Cement is made from calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and small amounts of other ingredients, including gypsum. Lime and silica make up approximately 85 percent of cement, and limestone provides one of the main materials for manufacture of cement. Limestone is currently produced in Boulder, Fremont, and Pueblo counties. 

Cement is the main component in concrete mixes, acting as a binder to hold other materials together.  Historically, burnt lime (limestone) was combined with volcanic ash and pulverized brick additives to create cement.  Today, cement is created by heating limestone with small quantities of other minerals, such as clay, in a kiln.  Cement is widely used in the construction industry, especially in the production of mortar and concrete. 

Cement should not be confused with concrete because cement refers to the material used to bind together the aggregate materials of concrete.  Concrete, however, is a combination of cement and aggregate.


                           Cement Plant                                                                            Cement Pallet